LONDON, Aug 22, 2012 (AFP) - Former world champion Lewis Hamilton is certain to commit his long-term future to McLaren, despite speculation he may leave the Formula One team, according to team boss Martin Whitmarsh.
Hamilton's current contract with McLaren expires at the end of the season and the 27-year-old British driver has been seen as a potential replacement for Michael Schumacher at Mercedes.
But team principal Whitmarsh says Hamilton, who hauled himself back into title contention with victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix, claims the 2008 world champion has told him he is keen to sign another deal with McLaren.
"You get a few questions over a weekend about it and it is clearly fascinating to some people but I really don't think it is anissue," Whitmarsh told Autosport.
"Lewis and I have spoken two or three times at length. I think we are closer than we have ever been and I have known him since he was 11 and our conversations have been about how we are going to beat the other teams and how we are going to try and win races.
"Ultimately it (the contract situation) is relatively straightforward. If Lewis wants to stay in the team, which he has told me he does, then he should do. And if we want to keep him, then we should do.
"If the answer to both those matters is yes, then I think it is eminently doable -- so not something that has to have as much focus as turning up at races, trying to bring the quickest car you can and doing the best job possible."